The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM 2014) was inaugurated on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre where it was attended by representatives of official delegations from more than 110 countries.
The strong response on the first day of AIM was a barometer of the robustness of the UAE economy and its global position as a hotspot for investments across the investor spectrum.
Day one of AIM focused on the latest trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) and its growth prospects in emerging markets and the importance of attracting foreign investment driven by a progressive mix of legislation and flexibility in emerging markets.
AIM 2014 presented a platform for decisions makers, officials, investors, entrepreneurs, experts, analysts and academics who gathered under one roof to discuss FDI challenges, potential and growth.
Participants in AIM 2014 had the opportunity on day one to hold meetings, make contacts and share expertise with peers from all over the world. A variety of sessions were held on the first day.
AIM has gained great significance since its inception three years ago, with participants from China, Russia, Indonesia, Morocco and other countries actively participating in the event.
AIM 2014 kicked off with a welcome speech by H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy who said: “The UAE, on highest levels, gives great importance to this meeting, which is being held for the fourth consecutive year under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai. AIM will focus in this edition on the investment partnerships in order to achieve sustainable growth in emerging markets. We realize that through these collaborative efforts, we can build a better world.”
HE pointed out: “We are delighted on the large turn out to this event that attracted 110 official delegations along with many dignitaries from around the world representing variety of sectors.”
“According to many economic analysts, the global economic growth will reach 3.7% during this year and will increase to 3.9% in 2015,”Al Mansouri added.
The welcome address was followed by the launch of AIM Annual FDI Report that was presented by Angus Cushley, Publishing Director fDi Intelligence at Financial Times Ltd.
The annual flagship publication of the Annual Investment Meeting highlighted the general theme of AIM and revealed the latest trends in FDI and FDI flows globally and regionally in particular in frontier and emerging markets.
Special focus was placed on the competitiveness of fast growth markets and key opportunities and challenges they have to face in a fast-moving and unpredictable world.
In the day, a ministerial roundtable featured Ministers in charge of investment, foreign trade, foreign affairs, economy, finance and development, business leaders and heads of international institutions.
The focus of the session was on the overall theme of sharing views and lessons learnt as well as personal assessments on how to invest in growth and to find sustainable solutions to further the cause of development in times of political and economic uncertainties.
Karl Sauvant, Resident Senior Fellow at the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC), former Director Investment and Enterprise Development Division, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) moderated the roundtable, in which the panelists included Eng. Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, UAE, Yegor Borisov, President of Sakha Republic, Russian Federation, Mustafa Osman Ismail, Ministry of Investment, Sudan, Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva, Switzerland, Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Professor Louis T. Wells and Herbert F. Johnson, Professor of International Management at the Harvard Business School.
A presentation on inventing the future was delivered by Bertrand Piccard, Initiator, Chairman and Pilot of Solar Impulse.
A plenary session on ‘The Evolving international regulatory framework for FDI, new Developments and Implications for Frontier and Emerging Markets’ discussed national and international regulatory frameworks for FDI for laying the parameters for the operations of multinational enterprises. State-level regulatory frameworks are restricting FDI and the need of the hour is more open approach.
Mr. Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO, AIM’s Organizing Committee said: “This session examined new regulatory developments in inward and outward FDI regimes and international investment agreements (e.g., bilateral investment treaties), as well as a possible multilateral framework for investment, and implications of these developments for emerging markets.”
The session was again moderated by Karl Sauvant, and the key note speakers included Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva, Switzerland while the panelists featured Ana Teresa T. Lehmann, Associate Professor of Economics, CEF.UP, FEP, University of Porto, Portugal, Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Sangkyom Kim, Deputy Director, Directorate of Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, Paris, France, Mahendra Siregar, Chairman of Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Jakarta, Indonesia and Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, UAE.
This session was followed by another on “Going for Gold in Frontier and emerging markets as investment destinations”.
It examined in different regions and sectors and evaluated risks. Moderated by Andreas Dressler, Managing Director Terrain, Germany, the Keynote speaker was Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), while panelists included Majid Jafar, CEO Crescent Petroleum, James Zhan, Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, Geneva, UNCTAD, Pius Muchiri, CEO Centum Asset Managers Limited (part of Centum Group), Nairobi, Kenya, Pumla Ncapayi, Deputy Director General of Department. Trade and Industry (DTI), Pretoria, South Africa, Frederick Lehmann, Chairman and CEO of Lehmann & Co., Portugal, Ghassan Y. Al-Baba, Executive Director of the Islamic Development Bank Group Business Forum (THIQAH).
The final plenary session of the day shed light on investment partnerships and new forms of FDI, strategic alliances and greenfield investments.
Some of the issues in this session included benefits of Green Field Investment in new facilities or the expansion of existing facilities. Greenfield investments are the primary target of a host nation’s promotional efforts because they create new production capacity and jobs, transfer technology and know-how, and can lead to linkages to the global marketplace. However, it often does this by crowding out local industry. Mergers & Acquisitions occur when a transfer of existing assets from local firms to foreign firms takes place.
The session was moderated by Ruth McKee, Dubai Bureau Chief, MergerMarket, UAE in which the keynote speaker was Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of UNCTAD and panelists were Ana Teresa T. Lehmann, Associate Professor of Economics at the School of Economics, University of Porto, researcher at CEF.UP, University of Porto, and Head of International Business at EGP-U.Porto Business School, Portugal, Alexandre David de Sousa Costa, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce of Angola, Hassan Sohbi, Partner, TaylorWessing, Frankfurt, Germany and Yousuf Bastaki, Senior Vice President – Major Project, Emirates Global Aluminium.
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